1843 Tasting Notes
The weather is getting hot these day so I dug out my tea and made a pitcher of iced tea. Steeped according to the directions it’s nice and refreshing although I do wish there was a bit more black currant/berry flavour. The base is smooth and not bitter, which is a problem I’ve noticed with some iced tea.
Because I’m Canadian I like my iced tea sweet, although the commercially available bottled and powdered iced teas are way too sugary, so one plus of making my own is that I can control the amount of sweetener (in this case agave nectar) that I add.
Life has hit a few bumps lately for me so it’s been awhile since I’ve had the chance to peruse Steepster. Those of you who are waiting on packages from me – I’ll deal with those in the next few days.
Now on to the tea. This particular tea is a Ceylon from the Uva region of Sri Lanka. I picked up the last time I visited the shop in the Granville Island Public market (which is a wonderful place, BTW) and according to the owner this one they only recently acquired.
To be honest I was expecting something with a bit more flavour. It has a generic tea taste and…that’s it, mostly. The body of the tea is quite light, even with an extended steeping but oddly enough I found I still needed to add milk in the end to smooth out the taste. It would make a good introductory loose-leaf black tea I think, or maybe for an afternoon tea where you don’t necessarily want a robust, full-flavoured brew.
The tea smells like a sweet, ripe peach – or at least something close to it. It brewed up as a nicely mellow tea with sweet fruity notes. Normally I find Adagio’s Formosa Oolong to have a bit of an unpleasent burnt flavour, but the peach and the white peony in this blend seem to even things out. It’s a good tea to drink in the evenings when you want something light and smooth.
Wow this tea smell strongly of seaweed when I open the pouch! It’s a very fine-textured tea, with litrle dark-green pieces that would probably be called Fannings in an Indian-style tea. It brews up a murky, green cup that looks a bit like over-diluted matcha. The flavour is full and complex – a mix of savory, sweetness and grassy bitterness, though the bitterness is less pronounced than it would be in another tea like a sencha. I’ve always liked the high-quality Japanese greens Den’s Tea carries, and this one is no exception.
My sense of taste is mostly back to normal so I figured this was as good a time as any to crack open my Adagio order. I sort of expected bigger leaves out of something touted as a high-quality tea, but I suppose size isn’t everything, lol. :D Dry, the leaves were black with flecks of gold but when they brewed they turned a light brown shade.
The flavours are bold and dramatic – bitter cocoa with a little bite that actual does resemble pepper a bit. There’s also a hints of tanins and smoke, something I’ve come to recognize as a characterstic of most Chinese black tea to one degree or another. The tea has a substantial, almost thick feel in the mouth and it lingers on the tongue, not letting you forget it.
I think a five minute steep is on the light side of things as my cup tasted a little bit weak. It was quite an intriguing tea (or tisane, I guess), lightly grassy with fruity strawberry flavours and a smooth, almost creamy feel in the mouth. I’m not getting any heat from the peppercorns so the ‘blazing’ part isn’t really happening at the moment – but at least the ‘strawberry’ is!
On a side note, I’m glad I finished my tea before reading the horror stories about finiding snail and worms in this tea – now I’m afraid to look at the spent leaves. 0_o
Braaaiiiiiiins….Braaaiiiiiiins. Okay maybe not quite, but I’m feeling pretty zombie-ish – who the heck gets a bad cold this late in the year, anyway?
I was looking for a green tea and this was the first one that came to hand. I could have sworn I reviewed this blend back when I first got it, but it looks like not. I still can’t smell terribly well right now but the flavour is nice – vanilla and caramel, and maybe if I tilt my head and squint I can pick up the fruity apricot notes as well. Of course my sense of taste might be off kilter as well, so I’ll give this tea an actual numerical rating once I’m feeling better.